Sunday, August 31, 2008

What Do You Think?

So, moms (and everyone else too).

What do you think about John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin?

Being the mother of 5 children I'm thinking she offers a unique set of skills the office of VP has never seen. That's executive office experience! Oh yeah, and she is the Governor of Alaska, too.

She's going to need our prayers. Sign up here to join in a prayer site for Sarah (or should we call her Mrs. Palin?). (and if you don't already have a facebook account, well get one and add me as your friend!)

So, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We are Family

Welcome to our new blog!  Just as our name implies, we are many!  This blog will be brought  to you by 10 of the soon-to-be 19 members (with many more to come) of the extended ManyMeadows' family. Currently, there are 7 siblings, 3 spouses, 6 grands and a new fiancee. (and that doesn't even count the number of adoptees we've added). Oh, and two parents who were/are either very crazy or really love having kids.

We hope you will join us Monday - Friday (usually) for extremely enlightening, knowledgeable okay, maybe just plain-old-fun entries on topics ranging from life, school, home educating, politics, parenting, investments, books, movies, etc.

We also hope you'll be encouraged, a bit educated, and maybe just a bit humored by this gang.

At least we'll have fun!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Family is Good

Well, it's been quite a weekend.

Dirk had emergency gallbladder surgery late Saturday night. And we were home by 2:00 am Sunday! Our family and extended family was there for us....and they are still.

Family is good. (If you don't have one, find one to adopt you!) ;)

Dirk's pain level by Saturday was getting unbearable and Lortab on top of Lortab wasn't touching it. I had gone on to Saturday evening church at 5:00 (where we normally serve together) with plans to come right back home.

I "just happened" to run into our family physician, Dr. Mark Knox. He asked how Dirk was doing. I told him, "Not good at all." He was really surprised, since when he saw him Friday morning Dirk was laughing and talking with the staff during his visit to Dr. Knox's office where they took blood and scheduled an ultra-sound for Monday.

Dr. Knox told me to go ahead and take Dirk to Mercy where "we'd get this thing taken care of". I called Dirk. He said, "Let's go." I knew it was bad if he was ready to go to the hospital.

So, with much help from my church family who quickly took over my responsibilities and prayed over me, I drove home, and we headed to the hospital.

The Mercy ER staff was very accomodating. We arrived at the ER about 6:30 pm. Dirk's surgery was beginning by about 10:30. The surgery waiting room filled with 15 of our family members.

The surgeon came out to give a report, and using his best medical terminology said that Dirk's gallbladder was "nasty, nasty".

So, thanks, family! Thanks for your thoughts, your calls, your texts, your e-mails, the food, your prayers, and mostly your love.

Family is good.

I'll be taking a few days off from posting this week while the boys and I help Dirk work.

While I'm away, read some of the blog buddies I have listed. You'll be blessed!

PS - Dirk says the surgeon also removed his six-pack! He's back to cracking bad jokes... :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Finds

Fireside. Check out this great new site and read all the articles. If you have children at home, you ARE a home educator!!
Deleise is a master-mind!

Dirk has not been feeling well this week. He has experienced quite a bit of pain in his abdomen. We've been in contact with our doctor, also a family friend, and so far, the prescribed medications are not working. Tomorrow he has an appointment and we hope to get an ultrasound, because it is looking more like gallbladder problems.

So, on this Friday I am finding:

*that I am having to practice what I preach. (Seeing your husband in pain is scary and can lead to all sorts of imaginations that have to be QUICKLY shut down!)

*that trusting God really is a choice (every minute)

*that family is very dear (even the ones far away)

*that having doctors in the extended family is a nice thing (thanks, Alexander and Dr. Badie Mansour)

*and nurses too, Katie ;)

*that my teen boys know how to "step it up" when needed

*that focus really changes when a loved one is ill (nothing else matters all that much)

Thanks for your prayers. I'll try to give an update later on today.
Dirk is feeling much better today. He went to the Dr. and had blood work and will be having an ultra-sound Monday. Still leaning toward gallbladder problems. We're praying for a pain-free weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do You Feel Invisible?

Summer Re-run (originally posted 9/12/07)
It's long...but well-worth the read!!

Someone recently forwarded this to me and it was just too good not to share! May these words inspire us to recognize and accept the awesome responsibility we have as mommies! Celebrate your invisibility! ~Robin

"It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"

Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Pick me up right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

*No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
*These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
*They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
*The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand- bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women."
Do you ever feel invisible?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How Could You?

I witnessed it again last night while I was shopping. A mother, with two young daughters was talking with a friend, and the girls started misbehaving. They were arguing a bit about something, getting just a bit rowdy in their sisterly interaction. The mother was instantly embarrassed by their behavior and reacted accordingly. Her expression and countenance told those girls that she was deeply disappointed and ashamed they would act that way in front of her friend. And she had some harsh words with her daughters.

It brought back some memories because I know I’ve been guilty of the same thing.

Here’s the problem when we allow our children’s behavior to embarrass us. Our focus isn’t on them. Our focus is on ourselves. We take their behavior as a personal affront. We become more interested in what others think or on how we feel than being focused on teaching and training our children. We react from hurt, and the ones really being hurt are our own children.

Just think how often God could be embarrassed by our behavior. By the things we say or do. But He’s not. He is patient, and kind, and is not self-seeking. His compassions never fail. He is the Love of the father in the story of the prodigal son.

Learn from my experience. Don’t be embarrassed by your children. Focus on teaching them, instead. They’re still learning…and so are we.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Real Deal?

Some things are made just to look at.

Some aren't.

Ps 84:2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

I Tim 4:10 We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.

Rev. 1:18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

Eph 3:20 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Do we really believe it?
Do our lives say He is a concept or a reality?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Do You Think?

I received this question in an e-mail. Help a girl out!

"How do you tell when God is shutting a door or when it is Satan blocking your do you tell the difference?"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Finds

Craig has a great life lesson on Swerve this week. Something great we can teach our children!
Anna wrote a couple of good ones this week (well, all hers are good, but these are especially good). Perspective and Show Yourself.
Help a brotha out! Nominate Scott for a blogging award. Voting is over this weekend, and Scott says it will only take a few seconds.

OK - what's going on this weekend? Theresa is here from California. We'll be meeting with some other bloggers tonight, and doing a little sight-seeing, church, etc.

How about you? Anything special?
These two cousins (my youngest grands!) share a birthday today. Will is now 3, and Sadie is 2!
Happy Birthday, you cuties!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You're My Brother, You're My Sister...

A Summer Re-run (originally posted 2/26/08) update at end take me by the ha--and....(sing along, everyone! -guess you can tell what era I grew up in!)

Isn’t this blogging world amazing?

So, yesterday I write about a low day…have a little pity-party. And you guys come to my rescue! Yay!

Bloggers are encouragers!

Recently, I have had the wonderful opportunity to actually face-to-face-meet many of my new blogging buddies. Some of you that I already “knew”, I feel like I’m really getting to know you!

I’ve recently met face-to-face for the very first time:

Anne Jackson
Kim Heinecke
Wendy Dawson
Michael and Elizabeth from Norman

I’ve gotten to KNOW better:

Cindy Beall
Aaron Havens
Scott Williams
My two blogging daughters
Anna Meadows and Katie Mansour

And some new friends from the network connection:
Theresa (from CA)
Donna (from Canada)
JW from Washington DC (who needs to start writing again)
Deleise (from Edmond – who I need to meet face-to-face!)

(all the names are linked--check them out)

Blogging is just a little glimpse of heaven on earth. A place we can share our strengths and weaknesses, victories and defeats. A place where we can lift each other in words and in prayer.

I’m sure glad you’re here!

If you've never left me a comment, do it today! If I left you off the list...REMIND me!
Since this was written, I have some new blogging friends.

Some of the ones listed above aren't currently writing.

I've now met Deleise face-to-face. ;)

Theresa from CA is coming in for a weekend visit with some of these blogging friends TODAY!! Now, how is that for getting to know your blogging buddies?

Let me know if you're not on my blog roll.....I'll add you!

Teens, Sex, and Dating

I’ve been doing a little reading about dating/not dating. Like I told you yesterday, it’s an area we’ll be discussing with our boys this year.

The other day I came across some statistics I wanted to share.

From the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
(2007 study)

Teens continue to say that parents most influence
their decisions about sex.

Most teens (64%) say they share their parents’
values about sex.

Most sexually experienced teens (60%)
wish they had waited longer to have

Fully 75% of teens do not think it is
embarrassing for teens to admit they are

About half of teens (48%) say they have
never thought about what their life would
be like if they got someone or were pregnant as
a teen.

From the Centers for Disease Control

47% of all teens 9-12th grade have had sex, and 62% of all graduating seniors have had sex.

From Josh McDowell’s “Handbook on Counseling Youth”, a study in 1996 of 2400 teens from Utah State University and Brigham Young University:

91% of girls who begin dating at age 12 lose their virginity before graduation
56% at age 13
53% at age 14
40% at age 15
20% at age 16

How old were you when you began dating? Do/will your views on dating change on your watch?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Are You Reading? (2)

So, what are you reading right now?

I'm doing some school preparation and trying to keep up with these two teen boys.

I don't have any fiction going right now, although I usually do.

Besides going over Algebra II, World History and Biology...

I'm reading:
"101 Ways to Get and Keep His Attention" - Michelle McKinney Hammond
(can't ever learn too much about that!)

"How to Have Real Conversation with Your Teen" - Ron Habermas & David Olshine
(an easy-to-read format with some nice ideas)
"I Kissed Dating Good-bye" - Joshua Harris
(I had considered reading this with my boys. But the other day at Mardel, I came across another book we'll read. I'm buying three copies, one for each of us.) It is:

"Eyes Wide Open" - Brienne Murk
This book discusses the emotional bonds that can develop before dating even becomes an issue---a little more where we're at right now.

Anyone read it?

I'll let you know how it goes.
And tomorrow I'll share some dating statistics I recently came across.

What are you reading? Do share!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Fun Daycation in OK

Friday, several of the ManyMeadows+ went on a daycation to Sulphur Springs (Chickasaw National Recreational Area). Located just east of Davis, it is about a 90 minute drive from Oklahoma City (unless there is the usual construction on I-35…which there was…)

We chose Sulphur Springs for our trip earlier in the week, when temperatures were in the 100’s. Friday, we experienced the coolest day of the summer! But the 54-degree, spring-fed water was still a lot of fun for the brave and daring swimmers.
Sulphur has great walking trails, a small educational nature building, and plenty of cold water!

A little competitive rock skipping

Walking the trail to Buffalo Springs
Ooo...that's COLD water!

Leaving Buffalo springs

At Little Niagara..plenty of horsing around

Mesa Jo loves "Silphir" Springs....AND her daddy!
And they jumped....

and jumped....
and jumped...

and jumped...

and jumped...

and jumped!
It was a great day. We'll do it again...when it's a bit warmer.
Have you been to Sulphur Springs? What's your favorite daycation spot?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Finds

Check out Jacob's blog on Waiting. It sure blessed me!


Dusty Takle, a new blogging friend I've yet to meet in person, will delight you with her writings. This post was especially enlightening for moms. Check it out!


Katie is back to writing about her ER experiences at the Edmond Hospital. Read the poem she wrote.


The ManyMeadows are taking a daycation tomorrow. I'll tell you about it next week!

How about you? Have any special weekend plans?

shrimp plant

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hard Questions for Me Today

Summer Re-run (orginally posted 11/12/07)

If you never again received a word of praise, affirmation or recognition, would you still do it for Me?

If it seems too hard, too much, too overwhelming, and too heavy, would you still do it for Me?

If you never get your apology, never get your answer; never know for sure, will you still do it for Me?

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? " Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What Do You Think?

Does the power of God in our lives lift us above trials and conflicts or does it bring struggle and conflict?


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Okie Dokie

Not wanting Theresa to arrive in Oklahoma without proper understanding and pronunciation of the language, I’ve come up with just a few words and phrases that might help her out.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gonna, wanna, hafta, woulda, coulda, shoulda, - It’s just easier to shorten two words into one, don’tcha know?

fixin’ (I’m fixin’ to head to town. Ya wanna go with me?”) Sorry, Theresa….you’ll probably hear this one from me!

didja --“Didja see that mighty fine F-350 doolie (dually)? I hafta get me one of them!”

your-all’s-- (both or all of yours) “Did you drive your-all’s car out here?”

jawl -- “Did jawl drive your car out here, too?”

samwich-- “I’ll have one of those chopped beef samwiches, thankya".

Gichew--- “Can I gichew something to drink?”

Anyways….cain’t wait ‘til you git here, Theresa. We’ll be shore to have a good tawk and sump’n teet if’n yore not too tarred. ;)

OK – I’m sure the rest of you have some great Okie words and phrases to share with Theresa. Help out a California kid!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Okie Speak

The motorcycle pulls up to the stop light at the intersection of Broadway and Danforth. It is a beautiful evening and Dirk and I are on a ride.

On our right is one of Edmond’s finest patrolmen.

His police car window is rolled down.

The light is still red and Dirk raises his helmet visor.

Oh no…he’s not going to ask it…

Yep…, he is…..

“You wanna race?” Dirk asks, with a smile.

The policeman smiles back.

“Y’ont to? But she rides with me.”

The light turned green. We didn’t race. But we sure did laugh!

What did he just say?


For Theresa (who visits soon from California)

Y’ont (pronounced yuh-ohnt) is a one syllable word meaning “you want”? We'll have more translations to come so you’ll understand the language when you get here.

I know Theresa is familiar with y’all and alla y’all….she’s been practicing. : )

The rest of you begin thinking of some of the best Okie phrases and terms you’ve heard (or use). We’ll revisit this tomorrow so she can have some time to study before she gets here on August 14th.
Wait to post your terms tomorrow! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Finds

My daughter, Ali, made a great iced tea for me this week. Sweetened tea (with Splenda) and a drop each of coconut and almond flavoring. It was yummy! You should try it.

My son-in-love, Alexander, learned something about bananas while he was in Israel. Open them from the bottom. No bruising on the first opens easily!


Katie, Alexander's wife, is back to work at the hospital and back to writing blogs. Read some of her ER exploits just this week.

This weekend at the ManyMeadows: Gardening, mowing, church, swimming, family. A good weekend.

How about you?

musa rojo bananas

trying for a little bit of the tropics in the country!